NFL Wire News

Borland returning three-fourths of bonus to 49ers


Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, who abruptly retired from the NFL last week after one season due to worries about head trauma, is giving back part of his signing bonus.

Borland told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning that he will return three-fourths of his signing bonus to the team.

The 24-year-old Borland was asked if he had any buyer’s remorse.

“Absolutely not. To play one year, it’s not a cash grab as I’ve been accused of. I’m paying back three-fourths of my signing bonus. I’m only taking the money I’ve earned,” Borland said.

“This to me is just about health and nothing else. I’ve never played the game for money or attention. I love football. I’ve had a blast and I don’t regret the last 10 years of my life at all. I’d do it over the exact same way. From here on I’m looking forward.”

Borland, a third-round draft pick last year, signed a four-year rookie deal with a $617,436 bonus. He will return $463,077 to the 49ers, covering the portion of the contract that he didn’t fulfill.

Borland told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” last Monday that he made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates.

Borland was the 49ers’ leading tackler last season as a rookie, registering 107 tackles and one sack in 14 games. A late-December ankle injury caused him to end the season on injured reserve.

Even though Borland told ESPN that he was diagnosed with only two concussions — both while in high school, one while playing soccer and the other while playing football — he said he will not change his mind about retiring.

“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” said Borland, who is 5-foot-11, 248 pounds. “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

“I feel largely the same, as sharp as I’ve ever been. For me, it’s wanting to be proactive. I’m concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it’s too late. … There are a lot of unknowns. I can’t claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long, healthy life, and I don’t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”

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